Alfredo Pastor ist Professor an der China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS) Shanghai Alfredo Pastor: We are not fully satisfied

Alfredo Pastors finds Prof. Cabrera's proposal stimulating, but he does not think it would serve the intended purpose.
  • Alfredo Pastor

I find Prof. Cabrera's proposal stimulating, but I do not think it would serve the intended purpose, for two main reasons:

one, the strength of professional ethics as a guideline for individual conduct is declining, if for no other reason than that the proportion of professionals who are, in fact, private or public employees has increased.

The second is that business is not a well-defined profession: Prof. Cabrera's medical analogy works for management consultants; it would not apply to sales executives or to entrepreneurs.

One final reason might be the lack of enforcement capabilities (no collegium for businessmen): without it, the oath looks too much like a gimmick.

Of these three reasons, the most important is, I believe, the first: if you look closely at colleges of medicine, architecture or engineering, you will see that they look more and more like professional associations, i.e., unions.

We teach Ethics in our MBA, but are not fully satisfied with the result (for instance, some of our students were convicted of cheating in another course). Should our faculty take a hippocratic oath?

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